Sun, Dec 11, 2016 | updated 12:03 AM IST

PM Modi says his four-nation tour aims at enhancing ties between India and Africa

Updated: Jul 06, 2016 19:25 IST

New Delhi, July 6 (ANI): Hours before embarking on a four-nation tour to the African continent, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said his tour that aimed at enhancing ties between India and Africa would begin with visit to Mozambique - a brief but key visit.

During his five-day tour the Prime Minister will be visiting Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya.

"On Thursday, 7th July I will be in Mozambique. The aim of my visit is to increase cooperation and boost cultural linkages. I will meet President Filipe Nyusi and hold extensive talks with him. My other programmes include a meeting with Ms. Veronica Macamo, the President of the National Assembly, and a visit to the S&T Park, Maluana, where I will interact with students. I will also interact with the Indian community briefly," said Prime Minister Modi.

He will be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Mozambique in 34 years.

Underlining that on the evening of 7th July, he will reach Pretoria in South Africa, which is an important strategic partner with whom India's ties are historical and deep-rooted, the Prime Minister said: "My programmes in South Africa will span across Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban and Pietermaritzburg. History is witness to how Mahatma Gandhi's stay in South Africa impacted him and the history of the world. He went to South Africa as a lawyer seeking work and returned to India as a strong voice for humanitarian values, who would go on to shape the history of humankind."

"I will have the honour to visit Phoenix Settlement and Pietermaritzburg Station, two places very closely associated with Mahatma Gandhi's stay in South Africa. A visit to South Africa is incomplete without remembering the beloved 'Madiba'. I will also be honoured to visit the Constitutional Hill and Nelson Mandela Foundation, where I would pay my tributes to an icon of human history, who made his country and the world a much better place," said Prime Minister Modi in a statement issued here, adding that during his visit, he will meet President Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

In an effort to boost economic ties between the two countries, the Prime Minister will speak at the India-South Africa business meet. His other programmes in South Africa include a meeting with the Alumni Network in Durban and a reception hosted by the Mayor of Durban, at Durban City Hall.

Noting that South Africa is home to a vibrant Indian community that has made South Africa their home for years, the Prime Minister said: "I will interact with the Indian community a programme in Johannesburg on 8th July. I invite you to share your ideas and inputs for my speech, through the 'Narendra Modi Mobile App'."

Talking about his Tanzania visit, Prime Minister Modi said, "On Sunday 10th July, I will be in Tanzania for a brief but crucial visit to give an impetus to ties with Tanzania, a valued friend in Africa.

"There will be extensive talks with President Dr. John Magufuli, where we will chalk out the road ahead for bettering India-Tanzania relations in a wide range of areas. I will also be meeting 'Solar Mamas', a group of rural women solar engineers from Africa, who have been trained under GOI-supported programmes to fabricate, install, use, repair and maintain solar lanterns and household solar lighting systems in their villages."

He said he would interact with the Indian community as well.

Prime Minister Modi, who will begin his Kenya tour on the evening of July 10, said: "India-Kenya ties have stood the test of time. Both our nations have had very strong people-to-people ties and both nations have successfully fought colonialism in the previous century."

"My deliberations with President Uhuru Kenyatta will revolve around how India and Kenya can grow their bilateral cooperation. I envision better trade, commercial and cultural exchanges between India and Kenya. The potential is immense and together we seek to harness it.

"In Nairobi, I will offer floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi, who is widely revered in Kenya. I shall also pay tributes to Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, the first president of Kenya and a towering political figure of Africa."

He noted that the meeting of the India-Kenya business forum would be an important forum to elaborate more on the economic aspect of India's relationship with Kenya.

"A programme that I am keenly looking forward to join is an interaction with students at the Nairobi University," he said.

"In order to deepen ties with the diaspora," said the Prime Minister, "I will address a community programme on 10th July. There is also a meeting with Bharatwallah Alumni Association during the visit. Another programme is the handing over of ambulances and a model of Bhabhatron." (ANI)